Monday, July 7, 2008

Making the Cut!

Well, I am back home from my knee surgery this morning. As the before and after picture here shows, my doctor seems to have inserted the monster from Alien, or perhaps a hungry piranha into my knee to clean out the loose flap of cartilage that has been such a pain in the, err..well, knee over the past few years for me.

The procedure seems to have gone swimmingly, pun intended, with my doctor indicating that after removing the loose flap the rest of the knee was in terrific shape. I suppose that is only until the next piece of it, or perhaps maybe the other knee, elbow, or other (yikes) extremity decides it's time to do some degenerating of its own!
That's correct, if you didn't hear about the reason for my surgery in a previous post, I'm sorry to inform you that I can't regale you with tales of crazy adventure, the culmination of which resulted in my knee getting twisted while doing something risky and daring, like traversing a less than stable ice bridge while climbing K2. No, not that, and not even simply having it give way while making too quick a crossover dribble during a pickup game at the local Y. No, friends, this surgery was precipitated by father time alone. It was (past tense now) nothing more than what the doctor termed a 'degenerative' tear in my meniscus cartilage. In other words, I am getting old dammit!

To make matters worse, this embarrassing injury not being enough, it seems that I am now officially prone to fainting spells. Yes, that's correct, while getting the needles for my IV inserted, I had an appointment with Mr. Floor! Ok, I was sitting at the time so it was not as bad as the time I hit the floor from a standing position while Lukas was getting his circumcision (my wife had been through an 80 hour labor and I went several days without any sleep). I do have a bit of an excuse, as I did not sleep a wink last night. I'm not sure why, as I was not worried about this procedure. I stayed up late getting several things done and when I finally did go to bed, it was a no-go on the Z's. There were a few times where I almost dozed off, but then Luke fussed and cried and put the kibosh on my only chance at a bit of shut-eye (he contracted roseola over the weekend and all three of us had had little sleep for days - more to come on this).
I decided to get up at 3:30 anyway, to catch the only bus to downtown Seattle to meet the ridiculous 5:30 check in time. I say ridiculous because, after checking in at 5:30 AM without a wink of sleep, I sat there with no food or coffee in my stomach for an hour and fifteen minutes before being called back (and I was the first patient of the day!). All these things converged into my having a rather frightening fainting experience. I'm telling you, it was the most disturbing feeling I have had in years. I am not sure how long it lasted, but I was not exactly aware what was going on for what seemed like several minutes and was in a sleep paralysis state (not being able to move, not knowing where I was or what had happened to me). Turst me, they could, and probably have, written horror flicks where some poor sap is stuck in such a state. Only this was me and it was real!
My 'interesting' morning was not quite done. Given the true horror of what happened a very good friend of ours when given general anesthesia recently, I opted to have a spinal done. This numbed my whole lower half for the duration of the surgery, and then some. I got the spinal done at 7:30 and Mrs. LIAYF was supposed to be able to pick me up at 9:00 leaving her plenty of time to take me home (20 minutes) and get back to a professional course that she was teaching to a large crowd, many of whom were from out of state, by 12:00 noon. Well, when getting a spinal, the last body part to gain back feeling is, you guessed it, the most important thing! I would not be released until I could fill up a cup, draining much of the liquid which I had been sucking down overnight to stay hydrated. Mrs. LIAYF and I started to sweat the timing at around 10:15 when there was still very little sensation where it counted! At about 10:45, I lied and told the nurse that all the feeling had returned and proceeded to rest room where I gave it all I had and was fortuantely able to show them the money and fill the cup! I could be released, and just in the nick of time, as Mrs. LIAYF met me, still smiling and happy to see me, despite her time predicament (she is a real sweetheart!).

In the end we made it back home fine, Mrs. LIAYF was a bit late to her class but persevered, and my leg is sore but not excruciating, though I am doped on on a very fine narcotic. For those of you who have watched 'The Wire', I am like Bubbles during one of his good trips. For those who have not seen this show, you need to go rent it NOW! As for me, I am going to crash soon since I working on 36 hours now without sleep. I will check in again after I wake.


Anonymous said...

I am very glad you survived with feeling in all of your "appendages". I have a similar queezy feeling when soeone lese gets a shot or cut, but I can handle it being done to me.

Good luck on your recovery.

Whit said...

that's a lot of ouch, man- speedy recovery!

SciFi Dad said...

Glad everything went well.

When I had the plate inserted in my ankle, I had a spinal because they worked on me lying face down (apparently being knocked out when face down isn't OK). So, after listening to several hours of someone drilling into my bones, I got nurse Ratchet, who was kind enough to inform me that I had x hours to pee, or they were "going to help" and by "going to help", she meant a catheter.

I never pleaded for piss more in all my life.

Martin said...

have to say, those pictures...more than a little gross!

speedy recovery

Ed (zoesdad) said...

I was an ER Nurse for over 10 years--I've seen lots o' gore! I still get queesy when someone comes at me with a needle, though.

Here's to a speedy recovery.

Darren said...

I miss reading for a few days and everyone's on the DL. Here's hoping you and Lukas are doing well.

Anonymous said...

I take it with the new knee (Bionic knew perhaps) you can now leap over top buildings?

Get better soon.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@MTE - Yes, I'm glad I have feeling in all my apendages too! I never got queasy before the past year, so not sure why things have changes.

@Whit - Thanks. It is hurting more as more time passes, so I hope that goes away soon.

@Sci-Fi - Yeah, no guy wants to have a nurse help him to pee, especially if he were to get a male nurse.

@XB - Thanks. Coming from you man, I take that as a compliment.

@Ed - I have seen quite a bit of gore on the farm growing up too, so wasn't concerned about getting queasy, but this was different.

@Darrin - Other bloggers on the DL too? Must be dangerous, this blogging. Thanks for the well wishes.

@DC - The knee isn't bionic, but oddly I can hear things from a mile away. Not sure what happened in there. Thanks for the well wishes.